Rodent infestations can happen in any home, whether you live in a shack in the woods or a mansion in the hills, your home is vulnerable to infestation.  One of the most difficult tasks is to determine whether or not you’re dealing with an actual infestation, or just a couple of critters who have found their way into your home.  Hopefully, these 5 warning signs will help you determine if you’re dealing with a rodent issue:

Rodent Droppings

Where there are rodents, there are droppings.  Fortunately, this is one of the easiest warning signs of a rodent problem to spot, as they leave their droppings all over the place.  Since rodents enter your home in search of food, they tend to leave a lot of indicators around your home that let you know they’re there, and it’s generally around areas where they find food.

Once you notice droppings, you’ll want to figure out how long they’ve been there.  Older droppings will appear dry and a lighter gray in color, fresh droppings will appear more solid and will be darker in color.  Should you find any droppings that appear fresh, it should be taken as a clear warning sign that your home has a current rodent problem.

Visual and Audible Signs

We all hear our houses go bump in the night, but not all of us find something hanging around our houses making these bumps happen.  As rodent problems become worse, you will tend to start hearing more and more warning signs of their presence.  Whether it’s running around in your attic or gnawing inside your walls, these signs are clear indications of a problem.  As problems worsen, you may begin to see them scurrying around your home when lights turn on.  In addition, you may be able to hear tiny squeaking noises at night if all is quiet around the home.

Visible Damage and Markings

Depending on where rodents are at in your home, you may eventually begin noticing visible damage in and around your home.  Mice and rats will gnaw and scratch through surfaces to attempt to gain access to an area of your home for shelter or food, and if they’re inside your home you may begin to notice these markings.  In addition, rats tend to leave “wear marks” around the home as they rub up against surfaces.

Damage to Attic Insulation

Depending on the type of rodent problem you may be having, you may notice damage or movement of attic insulation over time.  Mice will create visible tunnels through loose insulation as they move across the attic, and pieces of insulation may be moved (or dragged) out of place as rodents attempt to nest or move around.

Unpleasant Smells

Rodents not only do damage to your home, but they can also create smells.  Whether from their droppings, decaying rodents that die in walls/attics or their urine, they can start to stink up a home given enough time.  The longer they’re allowed to reside in your home, the more pungent and noticeable these smells may be.